Tab Treats: Keep Calm and Curry On

Another curry pun and an entertaining dish for five.

bums chicken chilli curry food india Mahal onions Robinson College vomit


I am lucky enough to have remembered what the Mahal was like.

Wading through an inch of vomit to go for a piss or seeing the Robinson rugby team play the banjo with their cocks, are tattoo parlour memories that I tell first and second years to seem cool. Amongst the tales of debauchery and eighteen year old bravado, is the taste of truly terrible curry; a sloppy mess of tomato, spice and a whisper of meat.

Since then I struggle to find a curry as bad as the ones I tasted in those pre-Cindie’s preparations of yonder and now resort to cooking my own.

These curries are honed by a trip to India, a cookery book I generally ignore and the days of my fresher year. They vary in recipe, are sometimes, despite my best efforts, delicious, though always enjoyable. This is one I cooked the other night to a hungry audience of four friends.

Materials and Methods

Just a few ingredients that everyone should have lying around:

10 chicken thighs, skinned (my preference)

vegetable oil

2 large red onions, roughly chopped

15-20 cloves of garlic, cut lengthways

3 inch piece of ginger, grated

2 dried red chillies

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp of coriander seeds, ground

1 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, ground

10 cloves

8 green cardamoms

1/2 tsp of black pepper

1 inch stick of cinnamon

1 tsp of salt

500g of yogurt

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until soft and brownish.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two. Plop in the spices and fry for one minute. Then add half a pint of water and simmer for five minutes. Mix in the tomato and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like.

Add the chicken and yogurt, cover and let the pot simmer for 30 minutes to an hour with occasional stirring.

Boil off the excess water and serve with rice and chapatis.



If everything goes to plan you should have an aromatic, rich and tender curry, where the chicken falls off the bone at the slightest touch. In my case the curry was quite burnt, but no matter, the guests were still good enough to say it was “Nice”, or “Not bad for someone who once warmed up a Gardies on the radiator”.

Like the Mahal, but without the sticky floor and possibly a tasty curry


Conclusion and Discussion

No one went home with food poisoning and fun was had. What more do you want form a curry? In the future it could be improved by a lack of mild thermal decomposition at the bottom of the pan and perhaps more chilli.